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Tampa Bay Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 15,120,549 times
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I live in Florida and just saw this thread. The title caught my eye.
I love, LOVE, Tarpon Springs but I don't live there. To me it's all just so quaint, and pretty, and clean but then again I am a tourist over there. All the Greek food and shows are delightful when you go for only a few days a year. I don't know what natives do other than have little (and big) shops for the tourists, go sponging, own restaurants, etc.

The stories you have heard about taxes and insurance being more than mortgage- yes, it's true. I can personally vouch for that. Things seem to be on the way down but not fast enough. Then again, people in Florida got greedy and went into these outrageously high priced homes they could never really afford even if the taxes and insurance had been pre-hurricane prices.

You must have heard that California, Florida and Nevada are top of the line in foreclosures. Has to do with jobs, salaries, and greedy investors.

Tarpon Springs is really beautiful though. I don't know about living there full time- depends what you do for a living. Maybe you can rent out the house when you're not using it.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:20 PM
 
21 posts, read 74,682 times
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I am not aware of any chemical plant or dump site. The local garbage dump is near but not a problem. Do you have any more info on where it might be? I have been here since 2002 and haven't heard anything. If you find out please let me know.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:23 AM
 
15 posts, read 43,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorcyclemano View Post
Thanks for the updates folks. Cathy, I think you're right. I'm going to have to plan a trip down there and check it out for myself. My mother-in-law lives in Clearwater, so I'm guessing that staying at her house is close enough to the area to drive to and evaluate. Thanks for the honesty. Keeper, same to you.

Good idea if I say so myself LOL You really need to get a feel for the area yourself. Talk it up with people here. Everyone is from somewhere and they love to talk about their lives and asked their opinion. And they will give you the truth about how they feel about Florida.

The "Homestead Act" has already doubled. Unfortunately, it only applies to full-time permanent residents. Stay in touch and let us know how you make out?

Take Care,
Kathy
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:08 PM
 
53 posts, read 187,312 times
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To reply to Memphis, it's the Stauffer Chemical Company. I "google earthed" it and it sits on the east shore of the Enclote river, north of Tarpon downtown, heading out towards the gulf. It looks like a big dirt area with some building from the satellite. Still don't know what happens at this facility. I'm trying to learn more.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:11 PM
 
53 posts, read 187,312 times
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Kathy, the Homestead Act only apllies to full-time permanent residents? So I would get zero exemption? Do you also have to be a US citizen?
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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They refine phospherous. They used to take the slag and use it in the concrete, but that stopped in '81. The latest epa states the low level radiation is well below accepted levels. There is also an elementary school accross the street from that plant so it can't be that bad as the school was built in the '90's.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:51 AM
 
15 posts, read 43,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorcyclemano View Post
Kathy, the Homestead Act only apllies to full-time permanent residents? So I would get zero exemption? Do you also have to be a US citizen?

Hi Motor,
Yes, Homestead applies only to Florida resident.
Citizenship is not required to file for homestead exemption. An applicant who is not an U.S. Citizen must present a Declaration of Domicile and a permanent resident alien card (green card) when they apply.

I don't know what you would qualify for under Canadian tax laws for having a second home? You should check that out. Owning a second home here, in the U.S. can serve as a good tax shelter. .

Kathy
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:44 PM
 
53 posts, read 187,312 times
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If I bought a second home in Canada, it would be impossible to hide it (if was under my name), therefor it would be subject to Capitle Gains Taxes on any profit I make upon selling the home. If I buy one in the US, I don't plan on telling Mr. Prime Minister or Revenue Canada (our IRS) squat. Are there similar taxes in the US or Florida on profits realised upon sale of a property?
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:23 PM
 
53 posts, read 187,312 times
Reputation: 26
I have to be in canada 150 days of the year to be considered a resident or keep my citizenship and collect on the free health care system. I wonder if there is a similar time frame to be considered a US resident.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:08 PM
 
5 posts, read 14,668 times
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Good question...motorcyclemano- How do people afford homes in FL?
We're from PA and have lived in FL now for 2 yrs...all's I have to say is- I'd never live here again. People are rude, it's hot/muggy, the homes look like doublewide trailers back up north...Like a friend who moved down here years ago states to people, "Living in FL and just visiting are 2 different things".

In your case, since you're looking for a possible vacation/future retirement home and you're from the Toronto area (boy...we missing visiting that city!) here's my recommendations:

Somewhere along the eastcoast of NC, like Wilmington or better yet somewhere more inland like the Smokey Mt areas of TN, etc.

A lot of people are leaving FL b/c of the extremely unrealistic cost of living costs and where do they move? either back home (i.e. PA, NY, NJ, etc) or further up north like northern GA, TN, KY, or NC.
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